The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and the predictions by various research groups vary, but the general consensus is that this 2020 season will be above average in the number of named storms and in hurricane-level storms.
There are a variety of groups that issue hurricane predictions, but the research teams widely seen as authoritative include these five: University College London’s Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) group; the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University; the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona; The Weather Company; and a group at North Carolina State University.
The TSR group predicts 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Colorado State has 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. The Weather Company weighs in with 18 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes. University of Arizona’s prediction calls for 19 named storms, 10 hurricanes and five major hurricanes. Finally, North Carolina State’s prediction is for as many as 22 named storms, 11 hurricanes and five major hurricanes. In addition to the storms themselves, there is concern and uncertainty that the hurricanes may exacerbate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 21 storm names slated for use this year include Arthur, Bertha, Gonzalo, Laura, Omar, Paulette, Vicky and Wilfred. These 21 names are from the same list that was used in 2014.